A steam-powered Earth, where civilised men live in the skies and the land is a battleground, is facing annihilation. The only one who can save it is a disaffected young man who would rather watch it all burn.
The dystopian society aboard the flying city of
Desperate to avoid landing on the Lord's operating table, Konrad stows away on a salvage gyrocopter. When the gyro crashes in the wilderness, Konrad finds himself hunted by both Dragomir and the savage synari whose martial prowess forced normal humans into the skies. As peace eludes Konrad, he finds himself at a crossroads--turn and fight Dragomir or simply save himself.
The journey will take Konrad across the
Aetherstorm is a young-adult steampunk (for contest purposes this could be YA light fantasy or alternate SF, either is true) adventure at 77,000 words.
I am an army veteran and a member of the SCBWI. Thank you for your consideration.
Konrad Adler wormed his lanky frame up the steam conduit, and tried to ignore the burning in his shoulders. The duct had been shut down for maintenance moments earlier and the heat was enough to suck the air straight out of his lungs. In five minutes it would be cool enough for the cleaning crew; he had that much time to sneak into Otto Dragomir's laboratory, steal a couple of vials and escape.
Sweat ran in a steady stream down his face, heat and nerves drew moisture from him like a wrung sponge. Normally Konrad avoided anything that whiffed of criminal enterprise, he picked through refuse to sell, or ran errands for half-pennies to help his father out. That would not cover it this time though, they needed some serious coin, or he and his father would be finished.
He squirmed past the sixth access hatch. The brass wheel that opened the seventh hatch, the one leading to Dragomir's laboratory, was just a floor above. Another minute of squirming through the thick, oily air brought him abreast of his destination. Konrad reached out to turn the wheel, but the metal seared his hands. He choked back a gasp of pain and rolled his sleeves over his hands to try again. The wheel would not turn.
Konrad shifted his position and pressed his back against the duct wall. With only a thin layer of algensilk fabric to protect him, his skin began to scald within seconds.